EENI-Business School

Leo Tolstoy - Kingdom of God is Within You

Syllabus of the Sub-subject: Leo Tolstoy (Orthodox, Russia, Ahimsa).

  1. The Russian Orthodox writer Leo Tolstoy
  2. Ahimsa vision of the Non-Violence of Tolstoy
  3. Tolstoy's influence on Mahatma Gandhi, the Quakers, and Martin Luther King

“The Kingdom of God is Within You”

Sample of the Sub-subject: Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy Non-Violence

The Sub-subject “Leo Tolstoy (Russia, Orthodox)” is part of the following programs:
  1. Doctorate in Ethics, Religion, and Business (e-learning)
  2. Course: Russia

Learning materials in English or Spanish Tolstoi French Léon Tolstoï Portuguese Tolstoi

Description of the Sub-Subject: Leo Tolstoy (Russian Orthodox)

The Russian Writer Leo Tolstoy was born in Russia in 1828 and died in 1910. Tolstoy is considered one of the greatest novelists of all time: “Anna Karenina,” “War and Peace,” or “The Brothers Karamazov.”

Leo Tolstoy was an Orthodox Christian and a strict vegetarian. We can consider one of the initiators of the spiritual revolution of Christianity.

Ahimsa Business (Non-Violence)

His vision of Ahimsa - Non-Violence came mainly from his reflections on the “Sermon on the Mount” of Jesus. For Tolstoy the:

“Law of love was present in all the religions of the World.”

In his book “The Kingdom of God is Within You” (1894) - was censored in Russia, and had to be published in Germany-, will be one of the key works of the principle of the Non-Violence, and will have a significant influence on other spiritual leaders like Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.

The conclusions of this work are the culmination of thirty years of the “Christian Anarchist” thinking of Tolstoy and establish a new organisation of society based on a literal Christian interpretation, especially in non-violence.

The book's title is borrowed from Luke 17:21. In the book, Tolstoy speaks of the principle of non-violent resistance when a person faced with the violence, as taught by Jesus Christ.

“How can kill people, when it is written in God's commandment: 'Thou shall not kill'?” Tolstoy

According to his ethics, any Government involved in a war is against the Christian principles.

Tolstoy criticises the Russian Orthodox Church by the total symbiosis with the State.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the American philosopher Henry David Thoreau as the Upanishads (Hinduism) and Confucianism were the sources of inspiration for Tolstoy.

Influence of Tolstoy on Gandhi

In his autobiography “The Story of My Experiments with Truth,” Gandhi recognised the enormous influence that “The Kingdom of God is Within You” had on his vision of Ahimsa. In 1908, Tolstoy wrote to Gandhi his famous “Letter to a Hindu”:

“Just by using love as a weapon of passive resistance will allow the native Indian people overthrow the colonial British Empire.”

Premonitory words, which will become a reality under the Leadership of Gandhi in his struggle for the long and peaceful independence of India. Both leaders continued to be written until Tolstoy's death in 1910. Gandhi chose the name “Tolstoy Colony” to his second ashram in South Africa.

It is a beautiful example of the principle of the Harmony of Religions, which we have called Principle Sri Ramakrishna:

A Christian spiritual leader inspires a Hinduism spiritual leader.

Tolstoy also maintained correspondence with the North American Quakers and surely influenced them on the implementation of the Non-Violence to George Fox, William Penn and Jonathan Dymond.

Harmony of Religions

Religions and Global Business - Christians Spiritual Leaders - Orthodox Civilisation.

(c) EENI- Business School